The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) is committed to advancing racial equity. We understand that, for this work to be effective, we must be intentional in our efforts to interrupt and dismantle inequitable practices and policies at the systems level (e.g., improving access and ongoing supports for children of color with disabilities and their families).
In this effort, we value self-reflection, growth, and collaboration with stakeholders including families, staff, and leaders in the communities our clients serve. We encourage deep listening and active discussion to foster understanding and keep the conversation going to achieve equitable outcomes for all children and families. We acknowledge the critical importance of including stakeholders from all racial and ethnic backgrounds in data collection, analysis, reporting, and use.
We commit to continually build our knowledge and awareness of historical and present-day barriers that lead to disparities for children of color with disabilities and their families. We commit to intentionally assess and revise our operational policies and partnerships, staff development efforts, and technical assistance products and services to promote better outcomes for all children and families.
We commit to advancing critical policy questions that inform early childhood data systems to improve programs, compliance, and results for children and families in IDEA early childhood programs.
In alignment with our center objectives, we strive to improve state capacity to address inequities, including access and ongoing supports, through the collection, analysis, reporting, and use of high-quality IDEA Part C early intervention and IDEA Part B preschool data to facilitate program improvement and compliance.
- To improve state capacity in data collection, we support states to:
- Use sound methods, including addressing data privacy, representativeness, and stakeholder engagement.
- Identify missing contextual and systemic data and to collect qualitative stories to situate quantitative data.
- To improve state capacity in data analysis, we support states to:
- Provide sufficient context for data analysis to support asset-based rather than deficit-based framing of data describing racial minorities and understanding that children develop within the context of their culture.
- Disaggregate data to analyze intersectional experiences (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, SES, type of disability, age of identification).
- Authentically engage stakeholders to review planned analyses and examine whether the data reflect their lived experiences.
- Use appropriate comparison groups to contextualize findings.
- To improve state capacity in data reporting, we support states to:
- Use inclusive language and avoid deficit narratives (e.g., viewing home language/dialect as an asset rather than a deficit) that contextualize the lived experience represented in the data.
- Acknowledge the ways in which social determinants of health (i.e., economic stability; education access and quality; health care access and quality; exposure to community violence; lack of clean water and air; social and community context (e.g., positive relationships at home, support) contribute to the ongoing inequities that are present in data collection tools, analysis methods, visualization and interpretation.
- Authentically engage stakeholders throughout the reporting process (i.e., including families who are most affected by the inequities).
- To improve state capacity in data use, we support states to:
- Use data to identify concrete action steps to address inequities identified through data analysis.
- Pause and reflect on who is represented in the data being used for program improvement.
We acknowledge that our pursuit of advancing racial equity requires accountability. We welcome feedback from our staff, clients, partners and members of the broader early childhood community and will repair harm when mistakes are made. To assist in this process, we will convene an Equity Committee of stakeholders consisting of staff, clients, families, and partners that will meet regularly to reflect on and inform strategies and progress over time.